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Glitter, Glamour, and Graveyards: Meet the Members of New Zealand's Original 'Coffin Club'

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Funerals don’t have to be boring, black, and depressing. To liven up their future burials, seniors in New Zealand have formed “Coffin Clubs,” National Geographic reports.

Katie Williams, a former palliative care nurse who lives in the town of Rotorua, New Zealand, founded the nation’s first coffin club in 2010. Today, New Zealand’s Coffin Club community has around 160 members, and the idea has also spread overseas to countries like Ireland.

Members build and decorate their own caskets, and also provide mutual support and care. These get-togethers—which could be described as a twist on arts and crafts circles—demystify death, reduce funeral costs, and give a pop of personality to end-of-life ceremonies, participants say.

Some seniors decorate their coffins with glitter and paint them vibrant shades. Others adorn them with motifs like leprechauns and clovers. You can see a few of these coffins—and meet their creators—by watching the musical video below, which was produced by Loading Docs, a New Zealand documentary group.

[h/t National Geographic]

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Build Your Own Harry Potter Characters With LEGO's New BrickHeadz Set

Harry Potter is looking pretty square these days. In a testament to the enduring appeal of the boy—and the franchise—who lived, LEGO has launched a line of Harry Potter BrickHeadz.

The gang’s all here in this latest collection, which was recently revealed during the toymaker’s Fall 2018 preview in New York City. Other highlights of that show included LEGO renderings of characters from Star Wars, Incredibles 2, and several Disney films, according to Inside The Magic.

The Harry Potter BrickHeadz collection will be released in July and includes figurines of Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, and even Hedwig. Some will be sold individually, while others come as a set.

A Ron Weasley figurine
LEGO

A Hermione figurine
LEGO

A Dumbledore figurine
LEGO

Harry Potter fans can also look forward to a four-story, 878-piece LEGO model of the Hogwarts Great Hall, which will be available for purchase August 1. Sets depicting the Whomping Willow, Hogwarts Express, and a quidditch match will hit shelves that same day.

[h/t Inside The Magic]

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Is There a Limit to How Many Balls You Can Juggle?
Carl Court, Getty Images
Carl Court, Getty Images

In 2017, a juggler named Alex Barron broke a record when he tossed 14 balls into the air and caught them each once. The feat is fascinating to watch, and it becomes even more impressive once you understand the physics behind it.

As WIRED explains in a new video, juggling any more than 14 balls at once may be physically impossible. Researchers who study the limits of juggling have found that the success of a performance relies on a number of different components. Speed, a.k.a. the juggler's capacity to move their hands in time to catch each ball as it lands, is a big one, but it's not the most important factor.

What really determines how many balls one person can juggle is their accuracy. An accurate juggler knows how to keep their balls from colliding in midair and make them land within arm's reach. If they can't pull that off, their act falls apart in seconds.

Breaking a juggling world record isn't the same as breaking a record for sprinting or shot put. With each new ball that's added to the routine, jugglers need to toss higher and move their hands faster, which means their throws need to be significantly more accurate than what's needed with just one ball fewer. And skill and hours of practice aren't always enough; according to expert jugglers, the current world records were likely made possible by a decent amount of luck.

For a closer look at the physics of juggling, check out the video below.

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